Local motels and B&Bs fill up fast for the Tulip Festival . Be sure to make reservations at least a month ahead if you plan to visit at that time. Also note that nearby La Conner  is another good sleepover spot from which to tour Mount Vernon  and the flower fields.
There’s no better way to experience the full country experience than in an authentic farmhouse bed-and-breakfast. One of the best in the area is Benson Farmstead B&B (360/757-0578 or 800/685-7239, www.bbhost.com/bensonbnb ), a beautifully restored 1914 home set in the fields of Bow, just three miles northwest of Burlington. The innkeepers are the grandchildren of the Norwegian pioneers who built the house. They’ve restored it, filled it with lots of Scandinavian curios and complete the ambience by serving up a fresh Scandinavian farm breakfast each morning.
The house itself has three guest rooms with private baths ($99–150 d). Also on the property is the Garden Suite Cottage ($125 d), a deluxe suite with kitchenette in the first floor of a restored well tower. Finally, there is the humongous Barn Cottage out back. The cottage is a restored granary outfitted with a kitchenette, living room, and TV and sleeps up to eight guests for $135, though breakfast is not included in this rate.
Snuggled in the midst of 250 wooded acres three miles south of Mount Vernon , Whispering Firs B&B (360/428-1990 or 800/428-1992, www.whisperingfirs.com , $75–110 d) is a large, modern home with shaded seclusion. Four guest rooms have private baths, and a hot tub sits on the deck. Kids are welcome.
There are several chain motels close to the I-5 corridor, but for a cheaper stay with similar quality rooms, give Tulip Inn (2200 Freeway Dr. in Mount Vernon, 360/428-5969 or 800/599-5969, www.tulipinn.net , $79 s or $85 d) a try. Rooms are clean, if a bit worn, and the rate includes free wireless Internet and a modest continental breakfast each morning.
If the Tulip is booked, there are a couple of other independent motels that are satisfactory for a short stay, including the Hillside Motel (2300 Bonnie View Rd. in Mount Vernon, 360/445-3252, $59 s or $63 d), which has rooms with kitchenettes, and Cocusa Motel (370 W. Rio Vista in Burlington, 360/757-6044 or 800/628-2257, $79 s or $90 d), which has an outdoor pool.
For a step up in quality and better amenities such as an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, and business center, then go for the Fairfield Inn and Suites (9384 Old Hwy 99 N., Burlington, 360/757-2717, $129–139 d) in Burlington. The Fairfield offers newer digs and close proximity to the Burlington outlets and chain restaurants.